Middle East

Iran: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities

Publication Date: 
December 15, 2010
Human Rights Watch

(Amsterdam, December 15, 2010) – Discriminatory laws and policies against homosexuals and other sexual minorities in Iran put them at risk of harassment, violence, and even death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iran’s sexual minorities, especially those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), are victimized both by state and private actors in part because those actors know they can get away with it.

Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'at home' pictures trigger confusion over her fate

Publication Date: 
December 10, 2010
The Guardian UK
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani with her son Sajjad at home in northwestern Iran. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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Confusion surrounds the fate of , the woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery in  triggered an international outcry.

Campaigners initially claimed victory last night after photographs from state-run Press TV showed her meeting her son, Sajad, at her home in Osku, north-west Iran, boosting hopes that she had been suddenly released. However, a preview of an interview with Mohammadi Ashtiani broadcast by the station late last night raised questions about whether she had actually been released from prison, or whether Iranian authorities had merely taken her to her home to collect evidence against her and film a confession.

Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh ‘Resumes Hunger Strike’ In Prison

Publication Date: 
December 9, 2010
Freedom Messenger
Nasrin Sotoudeh

Take Action!: VNC Action Alert on Nasrin Sotoudeh 

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh is on hunger strike for the third time, her husband has told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda.

Reza Khandan told Radio Farda on December 7 that Sotoudeh resumed her hunger strike because her demands have not been met. He said that in violation of assurances given by the judge when she first appeared in court, her temporary arrest has been extended and her request for release on bail rejected.

Iraq: An Underground Railroad for Iraqi Women

Photo of Yannar Mohammed from OWFI, co-founder of the Underground Railroad.

 and the  work together to meet the needs of survivors of gender-based violence and to empower Iraqi women to defend their rights. 


In 2003, the US invaded Iraq. Since then, more than one million Iraqis have been killed, civil war has raged, and four million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes. Despite promises of "democratizing" Iraq, the US supported Islamist political forces bent on dismantling women's legal rights.

Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'freed'

Publication Date: 
December 9, 2010
The Telegraph
Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, 43, was pictured at her home in Osku, north-western , by the state-run Press TV channel.

The mother of two had been in prison since 2006 and was due to be executed for having an “illicit relationship outside marriage”.

Kurdistan: A killing set honour above the law

Publication Date: 
November 20, 2010
New York Times
Sirwa Hama Amin, with her son in Erbil, Iraq. Family members shot her and killed her husband due to disapproval of the marraige

DOKAN, Iraq — Serving small glasses of sugary tea, Qadir Abdul-Rahman Ahmed explained how things went bad with the neighbors. It was not true, he said, that his brothers had threatened to drown his niece if she tried to marry the young man down the street.

“We are not against humanity,” he explained. “I told my brother, if she wants to marry, you can’t stop her.”

But the couple should never have married without permission.

“The girl and the boy should be killed,” he said. “It’s about honor. Honor is more important for us than religion.”

IRAN: Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin_Sotoudeh 1_0.jpg

Nasrin Sotoudeh was born in 1963 to what may be considered a religious middle class family in Iran. She completed her studies in International Law in Shahid Beheshti University in the early 90s. Married to Reza Khandan in 1994, with whom she has two children, Nasrin regards her husband, Reza, as very committed to her work as a women’s rights activist. After completing her Masters degree in International Law, Nasrin took and passed the bar exam successfully in 1995 to become a lawyer. However, her permit to practice law was not granted to her until eight (8) years later.

Iran: Call for Release of Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

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On September 4th, 2010 Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested and charged with "propaganda against the state" and "conspiracy to disturb order" by Iranian officials and taken to Evin prison. These vaguely worded charges are among several articles in the Islamic Penal Code in Iran relating to “national security” that criminalize the peaceful exercise of rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Such provisions have previously been exercised to prosecute lawyers for statements they had made or and activities they had conducted in defence of their clients.

Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani - Update on her latest televised confession

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW) and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are gravely concerned over the recent announcement made by the official Iranian television channel on  alleged self-incriminating statements by Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani and several others on state TV last 15 November. We join the rest of the international community in denouncing this latest move by the Iranian authorities which adds more injustice to the case of Sakineh Mohammadi–Ashtiani.

IRAN: The Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani case: another test of Iran's extremely flawed justice system

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW) and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are deeply concerned over the continued denial of human rights in Iran in light of the Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani case. Lack of due process and the right to a fair trial, arbitrary detention, torture, and restrictions of freedom of information, of the press, and of association sadly constitute the status quo in the Islamic Republic.